Canine Hydrotherapy

August 05, 2020 2 min read

What is Hydrotherapy? Hydrotherapy literally means water therapy and can refer to any therapeutic use of water to aid or improve health.  Hydrotherapy started as a treatment for humans in ancient times and expanded to include animals when racehorses started benefiting from seawater. Greyhounds then begun this therapy to improve their strength and speed, as well as heal injuries from racing.

Hydrotherapy for dogs is a form of occupational or physiotherapy that uses water resistance to rehabilitate injuries and relieve pain. Exercising in water has the benefit of providing both buoyancy and resistance, making it possible to strengthen and condition muscles and build endurance without placing stress on the joints.

The buoyancy of the water decreases the stress on your pup’s joints as they try to recover from their condition. This type of therapy is also a natural anti-inflammatory due to its ability to reduce swelling in body tissues. Also, for sporting dogs and other highly active breeds, recreational hydrotherapy is a fantastic way to add physical conditioning exercises that help increase stamina and endurance as well as strengthen muscles.

There are three primary types of hydrotherapy for dogs:

  1. Underwater Treadmill - This is the most common form for dogs and is best suited for those with joint issues and arthritis. 
  2. Whirlpool therapy - Typically used for dogs who are recovering from major surgeries and is great for pain relief. 
  3. Pools- provides a good cardiovascular workout, works the core musculature, and can help to increase the overall burn of calories, especially for obese dogs.

The type of hydrotherapy prescribed depends on the condition being treated, as well as on the condition of the dog.

Here are some of the many benefits:

  1. Relief of pain
  2. Muscle strengthening
  3. Weight loss
  4. Increased range of motion
  5. Promote blood circulation
  6. Tissue healing
  7. Cardiovascular fitness
  8. Faster recovery from injuries
  9. Arthritis
  10. Neurological problems
  11. Reduces inflammation
  12. Hip dysplasia
  13. Amputation of a limb
  14. ACL injuries

If you think your dog could benefit from a hydrotherapy session, speak to your vet, and see what they recommend. One of the best long-term benefits of hydrotherapy is a better quality of life for your pet!   Despite its exceptional benefits, hydrotherapy is not for every dog, such as dogs with cardiovascular issues, infected wounds, or a serious fear of water. A history of aggression can be a problem as well.



Also in Blog

The Power of Proper Hydration
The Power of Proper Hydration

July 02, 2022 2 min read

All hail the power of water! Aside from oxygen, water is the single most powerful compound on earth because every living organism needs it. The simple two-hydrogens-one-oxygen chemical fuels growth and is infinitely recyclable.
Should They Stay or Go? Tips to Find Pet-Friendly Lodging
Should They Stay or Go? Tips to Find Pet-Friendly Lodging

June 20, 2022 4 min read

Pets of all shapes and sizes are an integral part of people’s lives, filling the days with barks, meows, and more. When it comes to traveling, bringing a pet along can be fun but having them stay home can be simpler. Read further to see a breakdown of what factors you should consider when planning a trip with your pet in mind.
How to Help Your Dog (and Horse) During Firework Holidays
How to Help Your Dog (and Horse) During Firework Holidays

June 16, 2022 3 min read

It’s that time of the year again. The time when families gather, food is prepared, we celebrate our country's freedom, and yes - fireworks. For the non-animal family, it's just another day to celebrate; however, those of us with animals can feel the anxiety coming way before that first boom of those beautiful fireworks.